Every year around the Fourth of July, the Boston Phoenix publishes the Annual Muzzle Awards, a “round-up…of outrages against free speech in New England.” One of the recipients this year was Edward Boisselle, the former chair of the South Hadley School Committee. Our firm represented Luke Gelinas in a civil rights suit against Boisselle for violating Gelinas’s right to free speech during a school committee meeting on April 14, 2010. During the public comment period Gelinas began to say that it was time for school officials, including Boisselle, to be held responsible for their role in the death of Phoebe Prince. Before he could finish, Boisselle rudely interrupted and ordered Gelinas to stop speaking and sit down. Boisselle claimed that our client’s First Amendment rights were out on the street. Gelinas was escorted out of the building by police officers. Our lawsuit settled for $75,000 earlier this year.
The Phoenix article describes Boisselle’s "thuggish tactics," stating, "[A]s the video makes clear, Gelinas was a model of decorum. It was Boisselle who was on the verge of losing control."